The annual Scholars Programme Alumni Network (SPAN) Get-Together organised by the University Scholars Programme (USP) was held on Friday 9 February. Set up to be a cozy affair, the event saw about 70 USP alumni, students, faculty and staff come together for an evening of memories and great company at the Balmoral Hall at Royal Plaza on Scotts.
The evening began with a buffet dinner spread as alumni arrived and greeted one another warmly. When everyone had gathered over some food and drinks, our USP Director Associate Professor Kang Hway Chuan delivered a little welcome address. He expressed his gratitude to the alumni for responding so enthusiastically year after year to this annual gathering. He also shared that it has been wonderful to see how our alumni have been staying connected with the programme and contributing towards its growth over the years, making the USP community such a uniquely closed-knit one within the wider NUS. Moving forward, he also proposed and welcomed ideas on how alumni can continue to stay engaged with USP. He hoped to see more alumni contributing to the recruitment of new USP students through sharing sessions, as well as participating in panel dialogues about the value of a USP education with prospective students at various outreach events. Noting that alumni interviewers play a quintessential role in our USP admissions interviews, he urged more alumni to come on board. USP administrative staff also shared about some projects involving alumni and students—the newly founded student-led USP Consulting Club is one of them. More alumni were welcomed to join this club. They were also encouraged to initiate and plan class gatherings, especially on the milestone years.
We took the opportunity to distribute the new USP informational booklet that carries the new USP logo and messaging resulting from a rebranding exercise that USP has been doing in the last year or so. During the course of this exercise, the views of some alumni were sought through small focus groups and e-interviews. The new USP logo features an icon that symbolises the “inter”-weaving of ideas, perspectives, disciplines, and many other things which very much defines what USP is. The purpose of USP is also crystallised with this statement: “To shape independent, adaptable thinkers and doers who will make an impact in the world.”
To make the evening more interactive as well as to gather more materials that we can showcase about our alumni, we set up a mini photoshoot and asked alumni on “What is USP to you?” Some interesting answers that alumni came up with that evening were “USP is like a Kampung where ideas, actions and stories get interwoven with the joy of learning.” – Mr Ibnur Rashad (Engineering Science Programme + USP, Class of 2011), and Ms Afiqah Suhaiemi (Economics + USP, Class of 2016) thought that “USP is like the sea and you're the sailor. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” We are pleased that the photos and quotes of alumni we gathered from that evening now formed part of a photo pillar montage display in USP.
“The alumni dinner was a great way to re-connect with friends from the USP community. It was a joy to catch up with each other and to be updated on the latest happenings back home at the USP.”
– Mr Justin Daniel Pereira (Sociology + USP, Class of 2015)
Overall, it was a great evening of reminiscence, laughter and catching-up.
Please enjoy the photos below.